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Moorcock family tree

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  • Marca
    Eternal Champion
    • Aug 2004
    • 2014

    Moorcock family tree

    How common a name is Moorcock? It's not a surname I can recall seeing anywhere else. One of the things I've always loved about sf authors is that they always seem to have evocative, uncommon surnames. Coincidence or not?

    So how many Moorcocks are there in the world?
    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)
  • Michael Moorcock
    Site Host
    • Dec 2003
    • 14278

    #2
    It's a name associated with Yorkshire but not entirely from there since it goes back to different origins, including meaning 'little Maurice'. Somehow I don't see myself as a 'little Maurice'. Generally, though, it's assocaited with the bird which is a grouse and often referred to in Irish
    writing, since that's a fairly common name for the bird there (cf Yeats,
    Joyce etc.). A more common name in its various forms (almost all of which my family used during its existence) includes Morecock, Moorcook,
    Morcocke and so on. My family were primitive Methodists who came down from Yorkshire in the 18th century, as weavers, to settle in another bit of good Methodist country, Wamering -- Wickham and the Oxford area. My great grandfather, a carpenter, played cricket for Oxford City.
    Thanks to the indefatigable Lapis, we know that Rachel Moorcock wrote stirring poetry of a generally progressive nature, though had views in common with many Lutherans concerning Jews. There's a well known print called Wensleydale from Moorcock by Prince Charles, which is not me giving him his own dale but his painting of the dale from the village.
    Many people with my name tended not to use it, since it's so unfamiliar (or familiar inthe wrong way...) so my grandfather was known at work as Mr Reginald (one of his other first names) and my mother preferred to be known as Mrs Taylor (uintil I got famous, whereupon she seemed to see some merit in the name.... :D

    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
    The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
    Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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    • Guest's Avatar
      Anonymous

      #3
      A funny story

      I grew up in a fairly religious and somewhat backward area. Books were hard to find and people were not used to reading things that were unsuual. So, in the 1980s when I discovered Mr. Moorcock's books I would head to the local mall to see if I could either order or find a new one.
      Feeling like I was asking for the work of a great author, I would proudly say, " I'm looking for books by Michael Moorcock. Yes, that's Moorcock M-O-O-R..." This would happen a lot and I noticed that many of the female store employees would not be able to say our friend's name. Frequently, they would say, " no you want a book my Michael Moorock." Then, I would have get into a bit of a shouting match to get my point across. At the time I felt like I was living in a community of morons , untill I relaized that many of the young ladies probably felt a bit shy saying that they had or could get more cock.
      Thanks for asking this question, as I have always been curious about Mr. M's name. I always assumed that it meant "moor bird", but I also wondered if it wasn't a cheeky pseudonym

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      • Kitsune
        Guardian of the Grail
        • Aug 2004
        • 415

        #4
        Well dictionary.com says
        moor:
        A broad area of open land, often high but poorly drained, with patches of heath and peat bogs.
        *and*
        moorcock

        n : male red grouse

        -----

        My last name is Seebass, and I frequently find my name misspelled or mispronounced... so I can sympathize with Mr. Moorcock.

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        • Michael Moorcock
          Site Host
          • Dec 2003
          • 14278

          #5
          A posh tailor I had in the 70s used to insist on calling me Mr Moorco'
          (as in Cockburn, generally pronounced Co'burn). Cock, I used to cry!
          But I never educated him.
          M

          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
          The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
          The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

          Comment

          • Dead-Air
            Eternal Champion
            • Jun 2004
            • 2737

            #6
            I'm sure you must have been the butt of a few jokes for your last name, since I remember catching crap for just having a book with the name on it in 9th grade! I'd bet this is a familiar experience for many of your readers who discovered Elric during adolescence. I know Neil Gaiman used this for chuckles in his story in Tales of the White Wolf...
            My Facebook; My Band; My Radio Show; My Flickr Page; Science Fiction Message Board

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            • Marca
              Eternal Champion
              • Aug 2004
              • 2014

              #7
              My ex-wife once said that she liked 'Moorcock' when she saw my book collection. I thought she was joking, but that's why she's now my ex :roll:

              BTW I used to work in a place where the manager's name was Mike Hunt (honest, this not a Porky's reference).....
              'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

              Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

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              • Michael Moorcock
                Site Host
                • Dec 2003
                • 14278

                #8
                I got very little crap when I was a kid, maybe because I was bigger than most of them and wasn't in the habit of taking crap.
                Oddly, the worst and most depressing example I had was fairly recently when I was in the ICU of St David's Hospital, Austin.
                This is where I learned that I wasn't merely a victim of the American penchant for aggressive surgery (and two wrong and potentially lethal treatments on the same day) but of their potty humour, too... The surgery I could take, the humour depressed me deeply. I enjoy the black humour of hospitals, I hasten to add, and have no problem with those sorts of jokes. It's the infantile, I suppose, which I can't take with much equanimity.

                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

                Comment

                • EverKing
                  Eternal Companion
                  • Jan 2004
                  • 979

                  #9
                  Dead-Air, the 9th grade? The morons of the world seem to drift out of the wood work when they see I'm a holding a book by our friend. I've learned to just live with it and even make a bit of joke out it really. I mean, I've tried eduvating them, but apparently their minds just can't grasp the cock isn't neccessarily a reference to the male reproductive organ. So I started refering to his books as "my drug" (a reference to Elric's view of Stormbringer that I must've picked up somewhere...or maybe it a reference I invented when doing an Elric character sketch in 9th grade drama) and, based on that, tend to say things like "I need Moorcock" when someone starts making fun of the name. If they're not mature enough to accept the fact that it's his name and not me saying "more cock," well...I just don't have time for it. Sometimes though, I will explain it. "No...no, it's MOOR-cock...'moor' as is in a swampy lowland, like a scotish moor; and cock as in a rooster/chicken/fowl of somekind, like on the chinese zodiac."
                  "In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et nusquam inveni nisi in angulo cum libro"
                  --Thomas a Kempis

                  Comment

                  • PsychicWarVeteran
                    Flesh Bag of Mostly Water
                    • Mar 2004
                    • 2554

                    #10
                    You aren't saying that hospital personnel actually made fun of your name, are you!? That's messed up! Not to mention unprofessional. Very sad.
                    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                    Comment

                    • Typhoid_Mary
                      Little Voice
                      • Jun 2004
                      • 541

                      #11
                      I used to have the piss taken out of me for having a surname as exotic as Leo. Some people just want to victimize you and, unfortunately, some of them never grow out of it. :x

                      Comment

                      • Kitsune
                        Guardian of the Grail
                        • Aug 2004
                        • 415

                        #12
                        I got a lot of crap about my name... but that's because I was so big (6foot tall by 5th grade) that I couldn't get away with any violence.... No matter who started it, I would get blamed. I became a pacifist by nesecity...

                        Comment

                        • Dead-Air
                          Eternal Champion
                          • Jun 2004
                          • 2737

                          #13
                          I'm currently reading The Final Programme for the first time (the new Quartet edition, so it'll be followed by the other 3 JC books), and I have to say, what I can't help wondering about Michael's family tree is how siblings and/or cousins fit in...

                          Of course I'm sure that Elric/Jerry's Fruedian family relations are fictional and based as much on classic mythology as anything. Right?
                          My Facebook; My Band; My Radio Show; My Flickr Page; Science Fiction Message Board

                          Comment

                          • Kitsune
                            Guardian of the Grail
                            • Aug 2004
                            • 415

                            #15
                            Sebastian was one of the nicernames I got called... oddly enough I have since learned that the name is derived from Saint Sebastian.

                            Originally posted by Michael Moorcock
                            Well, they did used to call me Moorcock the Merrier...

                            :D

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